It’s 6.30pm on a Saturday night when we spontaneously decided to head down to Chicken Scratch in Oak Cliff. We called to ask if we needed to book a table but the voice on the phone said almost prophetically, “There’s no reservations but there’s tables right now but who knows… there might be a line out the door in 15 minutes time”.
The concept of Chicken Scratch is a dream for modern urban families searching for a wholesome experience that’s close by. Located just minutes from downtown, you park in a shed and go through a gate and enter into what seems like a giant neighborhood play date. Tables and chairs let parents sit around the perimeter of a huge open outdoor space where kids play freely with hopscotch, bean toss and sidewalk chalk. There wasn’t a line when we arrived but within a few minutes, a big crowd came and the lines were out the door till the time we left.
Chicken Scratch, shares the space with The Foundry, a casual beer garden where they serve craft beers and adult beverages. You can sit anywhere and order from either place. A stage built by Gary Buckner, who also did the gorgeous woodwork for Oddfellows sits on one end.
While the ambiance and decor is a stand out, the food unfortunately was just not up to scratch. One would expect more from the folks who brought us Bolsa and Smoke. The skillet fried chicken though succulent under the crisp shell, lack in flavor. The same could be said for the rotisserie chicken. Beefcake commented that Cowboy Chicken had a more flavorful rendition. The fries were soft and the tofu salad with a few lettuce leaves and tofu pieces were meagre in portion.
The best thing we had on the menu were the homemade watermelon pops, made of just fruit and sugar. Still despite the lacklustre food, we’d still come back and hopefully by the next time they’ve stepped it up. As a parent I appreciate that Chicken Scratch cooks with good, wholesome fresh ingredients and the play space is still a big draw especially if I’m organising a group of moms and kids for a playdate.
Click here for more info on Chicken Scratch.
Till our next Happy Meal!
ITTY BITTY INFO:
- Food: Hormone free chickens, fresh vegetables and ingredients
- Ambiance: Open spaces, great play area and a stage. Typical hipster Oak Cliff style for families
- Service: Counter service
- Kid Friendliness:
- Itty Bitty Foodies Tip: Great for play dates
- Parent Foodies Tip: Chicken Scratch shares the space with The Foundry a beer garden and bar which opens from 4pm daily.